To be fair, it would be next to impossible to have a free market on cable TV. Distribution is the first big problem that is frequently discussed here. I don't want a ton of cable companies running their lines in front of my house. One I'd more than enough. Also, there is likely a very big cost of operation barrier since every new competitor needs to drop a huge investment in infrastructure to grab a fraction of the already saturated market. Sure there are cases where governments have explicitly stopped local governments from installing a competing service, but this is not common.
But the bigger problem now is the whole industry model. No ala cart pricing, and limited streaming. This spits in the face of market realities. I can't stomach paying for sports channels I will never watch and consider blocking in my household. Not to mention all the other trash channels I never watch. I am happy to pay a premium for only the channels I want, but this is not an option. On top of that, I want to watch what I want to watch when I want to watch it. This is why I ditched cable for a combination of roku, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. I am happy to pay for the shows I want to watch on Amazon Prime. I watch more TV than ever before and I pay a lot less for it.